A geeky girl living in the big city, making her way, the only way she knows how... no wait, that's The Dukes of Hazzard. Who am I again? Oh yeah, a pop culture obsessed writer, publishing person, and occasional nerd. And I'm getting married. I talk about that, too.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Ooooh, Wicca-y Woman

Ok, not really. But I liked the pun.

So, I consider myself an Irish Catholic, though in recent years I've lapsed a bit in my church-going, and am currently feeling a little persona non grata with the church, what with my marrying a *gasp!* divorced man and all that. So, we're getting married in a Presbyterian church, and I'm wondering how much leeway we will have to do something a little different with the ceremony.

For several reasons, we won't be doing a unity candle ceremony. But I've been doing some thinking, and pondering, and reading, and want to try to find a way to draw on some older traditions. It's another aspect of my "Vintage Optimism," I suppose.

It's not specifically Wiccan, I don't think, though there are strong elements of Celtic tradition in a handfasting ceremony. I recently read this on (what else?) Weddingbee:
These are the hands of your best friend, young and strong and full of love for you, that are holding yours on your wedding day, as you promise to love each other today, tomorrow, and forever.

These are the hands that will work alongside yours, as together you build your future. These are the hands that will passionately love you and cherish you through the years, and with the slightest touch, will comfort you like no other.

These are the hands that will hold you when fear or grief fills your mind. These are the hands that will countless times wipe the tears from your eyes; tears of sorrow, and tears of joy. These are the hands that will tenderly hold your children.

These are the hands that will help you to hold your family as one. These are the hands that will give you strength when you need it. And lastly, these are the hands that even when wrinkled and aged, will still be reaching for yours, still giving you the same unspoken tenderness with just a touch.
I like the style of it, even if it's not exactly what I want. Several questions, though -- will it feel like some weird bondage ceremony to have the reverend tying us up on the altar? Do I now have to go find a special cord, and if so, can I use one in my wedding colors, or are there special colors that are more meaningful than others? Am I going to alienate the more Catholic members of my family with a "pagan" tradition? Is this something the reverend will even allow?

Your advice, as always, is appreciated!



Blogger Doyce said...

First of all, I love it, right down the board, I love it.

Secondly, with regards to the minister allowing it, it seems to me to fall in the 'write your own vows' category, imo.

The actual tying thing, I don't know, but the words are definitely a go, and I'd think that if the other bit was presented as a 'Irish tradition,' no one would raise a protest.

My two cents. (And hands, come to that.)

7/30/2007 12:22 PM

Blogger Lela said...

Well, you know....I'm the "Do what makes you happy" person when it comes to this kinda stuff, and I think that you should do it if you want to without worrying about alienating people. If someone's offended, but they love you, they'll look past it really.

When Mike and I got married, we'd insisted on a non-religious ceremony, because his family is Jewish and mine is protestant. We thought we'd covered all our bases for not offending anyone, and it turned out that a couple of people seized on a necklace he wore (a star of David that he'd had for years) as breaking the "non-religious rule". The moral of that story for us was: No matter how hard you try, someone may be offended, so just do what makes you happy.

Anywho, you don't have to have the rope/ribbon tied perse. If you use a wide ribbon or a thick (therefore very visible) rope, laying it over your clasped hands or winding it around once or twice should be more than enough for symbolism, and then it may seem less "bondage"-like.

My two cents. :)

7/30/2007 2:24 PM

Blogger DeAnna said...

I would use a long--and I mean ridiculously long--thin--and I mean ridiculously thi--cord, in the same color as your shoes, or something possibly more reddish.

Long: long lives, long time together. Also, more practically, so you can both a) tie and knot and b) not have to cut it off!

Thin: So you remember to treat each other delicately, and to symbolize the increasing trust that comes with time as more and more loops are added.

Purple: Royalty, nobility, sacrifice
Red: Passion, love
Reddish-purple: Wine, and its celebratory/sacred context

I doubt it's necessary to purchase it from a Wiccan shop or anything; it would be better to buy it at a favorite craft store (if you have such a place), or on a day with your lucky number, or on a day whose weather you particularly like, or just together :)

Afterwards, find a way to preseve it, perhaps wrapped around the base of a candleholder. Speaking of which, why not a unity candle? And HOW are you going to talk a reverend into doing a handfasting?

7/30/2007 9:05 PM

Blogger ***Dave said...

There are definitely Christian traditions involving the tying together of the hands of the bride and groom -- in some cases (as in, I recall, Margie and my wedding) using the priest's stole for the purpose.

In other words, folks are only going to be freaked out who are already of a mind to be freaked. Point me at them and I'll pat their heads and buy them a drink -- and/or rabbit punch 'em and drag 'em into the alley, whichever seems appropriate.

7/30/2007 10:14 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I stumbled upon your post, and as a Wiccan, find the vows simply beautiful!

As for the qustion of tying, colors, etc., such is the beauty of a hand-fasting ceremony (or one just incorporating a few elements of one) -- you can do it however you feel like! Do what feels best to you... use your wedding colors, just lay the cord across your hands instead of tying it, call it an old Irish tradition. Make it your own and hold it close to your heart.

Congratulations and Brightest Blessings on your happy day!

7/31/2007 11:37 AM


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